You know right away that something is off about Annaliese; the story begins with her in a hospital being interrogated because she's recently shown up after a year of being gone: Missing, no news type of gone. More oddly, she disappeared during a party...after showing up covered in blood. Everything went dark and Annaliese disappeared. Now that she's back, she has no memories of where she's been for the past year, but her hopeful parents believe they will be able to find their Annaliese somewhere inside the girl who is now home. Trouble is, their Annaliese disappeared forever the night of the party, and the Annaliese in their home is not the one they know.
The premise for Another Little Piece is riveting: Just who is this new Annaliese and why doesn't she remember anything? It doesn't take long to realize that there is way more than just a missing year going on here; Annaliese tells us what she knows as slowly the layers are peeled back to reveal someone who may not even be human. She doesn't want to become attached to the parents who are overjoyed to have her back but she does; she doesn't want the attention of the boy who took her virginity at the party from which she disappeared, but she can't bring herself to be mean to him. This Annaliese doesn't seem evil but there is definitely something evil happening and it centers on a razor, a strange boy named Eric, and her upcoming eighteenth birthday. Meanwhile, Dex, the odd boy next door, captures her interest as Annaliese struggles inside skin she doesn't really own.
Another Little Piece is a very different book, filled with violence and deception but also intense feeling and mythology. I wasn't sure I was going to like it at first, not because of the storyline itself but because I felt the book initially dragged in the first 50 pages; the very slow revealing of the layers of Annaliese had me wanting to skim ahead until the real action was revealed. I also didn't really get the attraction of Dex for quite a while; he was just too abruptly introduced and his circumstances were just too oddly written for me to feel a connection. But as I kept reading, the story became more intriguing until I found I was unable to put the book aside--I had to know what happened next. I may even need to reread it at some point to discover the carefully laid clues that make more sense the further along you go. It's not your run of the mill paranormal, and for this unique tale, that's a very good thing. I believe that the more I think about this one, the more I will likely want to bump the star rating up. Intriguing and imaginative.